Insulin can control whether a calorie makes you fat. It is another important example of how hormones dictate what your body does with food. Current science suggests that a calorie of carbohydrates is more fattening than a calorie of protein or fat because of the effect on insulin. Too many of the wrong carbs cause insulin resistance.
How does sugar play a role in insulin resistance? Simple. Sugar is addictive. It is bad for your teeth. It makes you lethargic, cranky, and enslaved. It feeds the bacteria in your gut that makes you hang onto fat, which then makes you gain even more weight. But you might not understand that sugar is the main reason you can’t fit into the form-fitting dress you wore a few weeks ago. It is not because you are eating too many calories and not exercising enough. It is far more likely that you can’t zip the dress because you have insulin resistance, where your cells become numb to insulin.
This assessment helps you determine if you have insulin resistance, what degree to which you have it, and will provide you with next steps on how to turn insulin resistance into insulin, your bodyguard.
Check off which symptoms apply to you or have occurred in the past six months:
- Do you crave sweet foods? Do sweet foods calm you down?
- Have you tried to stop eating sweets but found you couldn’t?
- Is it difficult to stop eating carbohydrate-rich foods, such as chocolate, ice cream, or French fries?
- Have you been told your blood sugar is higher than normal, or do you know that it is greater than 85 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter)?
- When you go without eating for more than three hours, do you feel shaky, anxious, or irritable?
- For women, is your waist measurement 35 inches or greater (at the belly button)? For men, greater than 40 inches?
- Do you have a body mass index greater than 25 (To calculate, see Measurement #2: Body Mass Index/Waist-to-Height Ratio)
- Have you been told that you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition that includes irregular periods, acne, increased hair growth, and sometimes infertility and cysts on the ovaries?
- Do you have difficulty losing weight? Do you gain weight easily, maybe even aggressively?
- When you skip a meal, do you feel fatigued and/or cranky?
- Do you exercise three times per week or less?
- Have you been told you have low HDL (good) cholesterol and/or triglycerides?
- Do you have high blood pressure (systolic greater than 140 or diastolic greater than 90)?
- Have you been told you have heart disease or atherosclerosis?
- Do you have a fasting insulin level that is greater than 5 IU/mL (micro international units per milliliter)?
Interpret Your Results
If you have five or more of these symptoms, you are very likely insulin resistant. Dr. Sara urges you to address this hormone imbalance quickly since it puts you at significant risk for prediabetes and diabetes. An immediate solution is signing up for the Reset360 5-Day Sugar Detox. This detox program provides you with the tools, resources, and support you need to reset your insulin, lose weight, and gain a wealth of knowledge to help you reset your hormone levels to balance your body for optimal health and wellness.
If you have four or fewer of these symptoms, you might have insulin resistance. Dr. Sara recommends asking your doctor for a blood (serum) test of your fasting glucose and insulin. Even better, request a two-hour glucose/insulin test (see Your Best Blood Sugar (Glucose and Insulin) Test).